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House prices to match inflation: CMHC

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Canadian house prices will move in line with inflation for the next two years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said in its first quarter market outlook.

The report is the third from a major market forecaster in the last week. The Canadian Real Estate Association and Royal Bank of Canada (RY-T) also predicted small gains through 2011 and 2012.

“The existing home market will remain in the balanced to sellers’ market range in 2011 and 2012,” CMHC economist Bob Dugan said. “As a result, growth in the average [Multiple Listing Service] price is expected to remain in line with economy-wide inflation in 2011 and 2012.”

Meanwhile, housing starts will be in the range of 157,300 to 192,900 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 177,600 units. In 2012, housing starts will be in the range of 154,600 to 211,200 units, with a point forecast of 183,800 units.

“Modest economic growth will continue to push employment levels higher this year and next. This, in conjunction with relatively low mortgage rates, will continue to support demand for new homes,” he said.

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